This was released in 2012
The interview is hosted by Rob Feinstein
It runs for one hour and fifty-nine minutes long
Finlay talks about his family history in wrestling. It started with his great-grandfather, who worked on the Titanic and would get in bare knuckle fights where the winner would get a bottle of beer and he wrestled as well. Finlay talks about how from that he was around his father, a pro wrestler who ran his own promotion in Ireland, and was always around larger-than-life characters.
He talked about his dad and how he kinda forced him into training and after being scared at first, Finlay wanted to be a wrestler and did not even want to go to school but his parents made him. He talks about starting amateur wrestling at age five and his dad would always bring him into the ring. His first match took place at age 14 and he went on his first tour in the Summer a year after that and said he got ribbed by all the wrestlers, even the women.
Finlay talks about hating bullying types and does not respect people who would purposely hurt someone during training.
When asked about the Dynamite Kid, Finlay said he was wild and told if he did not put on some weight he’d never go anywhere and when he came back from Canada the first time, he was jacked. Finlay talks about his reputation as a ribber and how he was surprised more people did not attack Dynamite for doing that.
On his favorites to work with in his career, he said Marty Jones and Rollerball Rocco were his favorites. He also liked a younger kid named Danny Boy Collins.
Finlay then talks about his first tour of Japan. It was in 1982 and he met Terry Funk and Dick Murdock and called it a life-changing experience. He talked about soaking up everything he learned and really puts over how much he loved being in Japan. The style never bothered him as he was just as stiff as the other Japanese guys.
He talks about getting hired by WCW. Kevin Sullivan called him up at the recommendation of William Regal. At first, Finlay said he was able to be at home wrestling in Ireland but after a brief stint in 1996, wrestled for WCW before returning back home. However, Sullivan and Terry Taylor offered him more money and he came over full-time in 1997.
Finlay said he hated WCW as he came from wrestling daily and being involved in the story lines to only wrestling about 12 times a month.
He blames Eric Bischoff for almost getting him stuck in Mexico trying to get a work visa as he was not prepared for what to expect and did not speak Spanish. Eddie Guerrero had a friend that helped Finlay out though.
On working against Regal in WCW, Finlay believed that since only a few people knew his history or could work his style, he got paired with Regal. He talks about his match from WCW Uncensored in 1997 and remembers all of the blood as he fractured Regal’s eye socket and broke his nose.
Finlay is asked about some of the other talent in WCW. He likes Booker T and how he is physical in the ring and puts over his character. However, Finlay said Booker still complains about how he worked stiff. He talks about Hulk Hogan and how he changed the wrestling business, no matter what you think of him. Finlay said he was a nice guy then said the wrestlers treat you based off of your performance for the most part. On Ric Flair, Finlay said that Flair thought the world revolved around him and that he has done a lot of stupid stuff but overall he likes him then talked about how WCW was a really tough place to work, especially to Flair towards the end.
He talks about how dangerous the WCW “Hardcore Trophy Junkyard Invitational” match was and how he “got his bell rung” after getting hit with a car bumper on the back of the head. Finlay then gave La Parka his “receipt” the next night on Nitro after decking him twice during a giant brawl with the rest of the wrestlers from that match.
Finlay then talks about how he almost lost his leg in a hardcore match against Brian Knobbs at a house show in Mississippi in 1999. Finlay said that WCW, per usual, was not prepared for the match and used a table that was a formica top and how it shattered and ended up slicing up Finlay from behind his knee to the bottom of his calf and had to get rushed to the hospital where he was told he might lose his leg as it was all shredded up but luckily they were able to put it back together. He ended up missing five months of action while rehabbing the injury. Finlay said his leg is still numb to this day and that he has “drop foot” but is able to move his foot around. He also credits praying as to how he overcame the injury.
He talks about how he did not spend much time with Sting and Lex Luger but noted that they were “cliquish.” Finlay said Scott Hall was a totally different person when he first saw him while working for Otto Wanz in Germany. Finlay said at times Hall and Nash disrespected the wrestling business and treated it as a joke. Finlay tells a story of how Nash asked him for help training in the ring but never showed up then told Nash he wasnt going to help him after Nash asked again. Finlay liked Goldberg a lot and said he was a nice person but that the nWo guys got in his head and ended up manipulating him to the point Goldberg became bitter about the business.
Regarding Vince Russo, Finlay said that for some reason Russo did not like the foreigners and wanted them all gone. He only spoke to him a few times but from what he hears, Russo is a dictator and that is not going to get you respect from the wrestlers.
After WCW closed down, Finlay said he was interviewed by Jim Ross. He was then brought in as a road agent
On the Power Plant, Finlay said he went down a few times to help train and how it was a good facility but that they did not have guys who had the aptitude and mentality to make it in the business.
Finlay said that Vince McMahon is a genius and how its incredible to see where he took the wrestling business.
He then talks about being an agent and due to his many years of working he can recognize potential when guys first step into the ring. When asked about giving up on guys, Finlay said he does not do that and always wants to help people who want to learn, adding that its not his job to run guys away from the wrestling business.
On Randy Orton when he first broke in with the WWE, Finlay first talked about how generational wrestlers always grow up differently and that he was a rebel but did have tons of potential. He talks about how when he was first got called up, he ended up booting out a window in the arena because the door was locked but now, he has matured.
Finlay said that John Cena was a bit unorthodox and while not a great wrestler at first, he did have the “it” factor. He recalls Cena confronting Kurt Angle at RAW and how he made sure Cena laid into him as he had one opportunity to make a first impression then joked about how Angle had no idea Cena was going to hit him hard.
He said Batista was very soft-spoken at first then recalls how he worked with Orton a lot and knocked him out a few times. Finlay said that Batista was very coachable and came a long way. He also says they are still friends today.
Now, Finlay is asked about how he ended up training the women wrestlers. He believes it was due to the fact the other agents did not want to work with them and put him in that role as a rib of sorts. Finlay said he ended up loving the role but at first talks about being embarrassed as he had to put together bra and panties matches. Finlay said he agreed to teach them to wrestle in the ring before the shows and it started to develop into something more serious. Finlay talks about getting to know them and started to craft character based off of their personalities. Finlay said he treated them like the guys and was a little harsh at times to make sure they knew this was physical. Finlay also believes the girls are put under a microscope more so than the guys as he dares anyone to get into the ring and try as its not easy.
He talks about Trish Stratus really wanting to succeed and puts her over for working hard.
Finlay talks about the Divas Search and Tough Enough then talks about at first being a traditionalist and thinking they are bad ideas but saw how they were not easy on these people and puts over the talent from the Diva Search like Eve, Michelle McCool, and Layla. He talks about how tough they work the kids on “Tough Enough” and the lack of success coming from that show was not due to a lack of trying.
On guys he worked with in the WWE, Finlay thought that Matt Hardy was a better in-ring guy than his brother Jeff as Matt learned to slow down. He puts over Rey Mysterio for being an incredible talent and how many people try to imitate Rey but no one can hold a candle to him. He said that wrestling Bobby Lashley was a project but loved his physicality and said he was a sweet person.
Finlay said that Michael Hayes has a great mind for the business but is still living like the wild child of the 1980’s. He thinks Hayes has calmed down a little bit nowadays.
Regarding the Money in the Bank match, Finlay said that sometimes multiple man matches can feel boring because you are not constantly involved in the match and when it ends, you sometimes question yourself as to whether or not you were good and have to go back and watch to see how the match developed.
When asked if Ken Kennedy was sloppy in the ring, Finlay said he was a bit erratic at times and has hurt people in the ring but to him, Kennedy tries to be like Steve Austin in the ring and if someone is like that in the ring, you have to adjust your style towards that. Finlay likes Kennedy as a person and does not know why he was let go from the WWE.
Finlay talks about his pairing with Hornswoggle. First, Finlay said that he came up with the idea of having a lepracaun in WCW but it never came to fruition. Then, when Vince told him he was going to have one in WWE, Finlay told Vince he thought of having that in WCW and from that they started to interview “little” guys until they settled on Hornswoggle. Finlay talked about how they tried to hide him as much as possible, thinking that the more you see of him the less over he would become.
Finlay talks about the Undertaker and said he is a locker room leader and just an incredible guy all-around.
He talks about the Booker T and Batista locker room fight. Finlay did not know how it started but got called in when it went down. He saw Batista on top of Booker and that Booker was the one with a black eye. Finlay also noted how Sharmell kicked Batista in the nuts and that Batista no-sold the kick and says the story of Booker T kicking Batista’s ass was false. Finlay also added that Booker kept threatening Batista that he was going to come down to his house.
He did not really like working in the ECW brand. Finlay said the office told him they wanted to have guys to teach the younger talent on ECW.
Finlay talked about after he stopped wrestling, Arn Anderson and himself thought of the idea to have agents also train guys as they started to pull guys aside and help them out.
As far as the younger talent today and who we sees as a future top talent, Finlay said the training is great today and they are given all of the tools and will get a chance to run with the ball but does not know who will exactly be that person as they have a lot of guys waiting for that chance.
He talks about the Independent scene today and how coming from the WWE he sees how the promotions are poorly run as promoters are unable to control their business.
Finlay is asked about how he got released from the WWE. The National Anthem played before the show and thought it would be a good idea for the Miz to cut it off and decided to play his music and it would put more heat on Miz. However, the National Guard got pissed off as Finlay takes the blame, chalking it up as getting too wrapped up in the product. John Laurinaitis called him up and asked what happened then two hours later Laurinaitis called him back and said they had to let him go. Finlay says it was his own fault and takes all the blame and how the WWE has to protect their company, which is bigger than any individual. He also talks about never wanting to disrespect anyone who served in the military.
He would consider going to TNA as “wrestling is wrestling” and has nothing against them.
Finlay talks about his oldest son David, who wrestles in high school, and how he wants to get him into the New Japan Dojo after he graduates.
On Stephanie McMahon, Finlay likes her but also said she is a “micro-manager” as he says doing that is what makes the WWE successful.
He encourages wrestlers to gain experience after finishing up wrestling school by going overseas and to different promotions and find out who they are as performers.
When asked, Finlay said that Meng is the toughest guy he has met in the wrestling business. He also puts him over for being a sweetheart of a guy.
On how much longer he would like to continue wrestling, Finlay said he will go as long as he does not end up making a fool of himself.
He closes by saying he might work on a book as he has a lot of material.
Final Thoughts: Overall, I thought this was just an average interview. Finlay definitely seemed like someone who still wanted to get hired back by the WWE but he did give some insight into his role as an agent as well as a few backstage details that were interesting. I thought they would spend more time on his role as a trainer of the women wrestlers but they only spent a few minutes on that.
Finlay actually came across as a pretty mellow guy and does not like to make excuses or bad mouth people, which is quite admirable. I came away from this interview liking him as a person.
As far as recommending this interview, I dont really think I can unless you are a huge fan of Finlay or want to know what things were like behind the scenes on Smackdown during his tenure. The interview itself was also not structured well, which dragged things down a bit.
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 7/31/88
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 12/17/81
Sunday: WWF WrestleFest 7/31/88
Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 8/6/88
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 8/7/88
Wednesday: EVOLVE 60 5/6/16
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD